13) Do some Christmas traditions have pagan origins?

Question

Do some Christmas traditions have pagan origins?

Answer

Look at examples below and their classification!

A. Christmas tradition

Christmas tradition is the heart of Christmas. It includes:

  1. Singing Christmas song (Luke 2: 13-14, 20)
  2. Christmas story (Matthew 1-2 and Luke 1-3)
  3. Meditating and remembering Christmas story in Bible (2 Timothy 2: 8, Luke 2: 19)
  4. Christmas light festival (originated in Hanukkah and John 1: 9)
  5. Christmas week (traditional time frame in Bible to observe biblical festivals)
  6. Christmas service or Christmas mass (follow examples from the angels in Luke 2: 13-14)
  7. Christmas gift as The GOD gave His gift —Jesus — to the world (John 3:16). For example, social service to the poors.
  8. Pray
  9. Heavenly joyful moment (Luke 2: 13-14, 20)
  10. Peace greetings (Luke 2: 14)

Christmas tradition is about Christ born in this world. This tradition does not have pagan origin. Do Christmas traditions have pagan origins? No. Look at above examples.

B. Supplementary Tradition to Christmas

Supplementary tradition to Christmas includes any custom attached to Christmas under various motives. It is not Christmas tradition, instead, it is supplementary tradition.

The supplementary tradition often refers as “Secular Christmas”, including:

  1. Popular kid toys, such as Christmas tree (originated in Paradise Play, part of Christmas Play)
  2. St. Nicholas/ St. Claus (originated in St. Nicholas, bishop Myra)
  3. Christmas food and beverage.
  4. Christmas fashion, such as, white-red night cap, pajama, and boots.
  5. Christmas arts, such as Christmas poetry.
  6. Folk festival
  7. Christmas discount
  8. Christmas shopping
  9. Christmas allowance
  10. Local positive customs to welcome Christmas
  11. Christmas parade (Alert, it easily and potentially slip into category C! )

Supplementary tradition should be managed in order to avoid it from migrating to C group.

C. Anti-Christmas Tradition

Anti-Christmas tradition includes any tradition aiming at destroying Christmas tradition (point A). It includes:

  1. Sex party
  2. Binge drinking
  3. Getting drunk
  4. Prostitution along with Christmas season
  5. Gambling, such as, carding, dicing, etc
  6. “Christmas” fashion exploiting physical body.
  7. Extortion in the name of Christmas
  8. Any criminal acts
  9. Initiating war
  10. Immorality
  11. Disinformation against Christmas and anti-Christmas arguments

Christ followers should keep Christmas tradition (group A), may keep supplementary tradition to Christmas (group B) as long as it does not destroy the original Christmas tradition, and resist against anti-Christmas tradition (group C).

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